Alessandro Maria Gaetano Galilei


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One of a number of gifted Italian architects active in the first half of C18 whose work moved away from Baroque towards Neo-Classicism. He arrived in the British Isles as the chosen architect of the ‘New Junta for Architecture’, a group of connoisseurs who wished to encourage a Classical style. He designed (1718–19) the palazzo-like country-house of Castletown, Celbridge, Co. Kildare, for Speaker William Conolly (d. 1662–1729)—begun 1722 under the direction of Pearce—and the Doric portico (1718–19) on the east front of Kimbolton Castle, Hunts., for Charles, 1st Duke of Manchester (c. 1660–1722). He returned to Italy in 1719, and was responsible for the splendid façade of San Giovanni in Laterano, Rome (1732–6), and for the lavish Corsini Chapel in the same church (1731–3). He also designed the front of the Church of San Giovanni dei Fiorentini (1733–5), Rome.

Colvin (1995);Country Life, cxlv/3760-2 (1969), 722–6, 798–802, 882–5;Wittkower (1982)

Subjects: Architecture.

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